Washington, D.C., June 19, 2019 — More than 20 years after the federal government last funded research into gun violence as a public health epidemic, the House of Representatives today approved an appropriations package containing $50 million for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the issue. The national gun violence prevention organization Brady hailed the vote as a monumental step forward to combat the national crisis, noting the importance of finally getting crucial answers about gun violence that will save lives.
Brady President Kris Brown stated,
“We have a public health epidemic in America that claims 100 lives every day. Any other issue killing this many Americans every day would have billions of dollars dedicated to study and defeat it, but because gun violence is the issue, we have refused to fund lifesaving research that could stem this epidemic. Until now. Today’s vote by the House of Representatives marks one of the most important steps taken in a generation to combat the crisis of gun violence. We’re thrilled that the House voted to fully fund CDC and NIH research, and we strongly urge the Senate to put the safety of all Americans first, and include the House-passed funding in its appropriations package. There’s so much that we need to know about gun violence, and we can’t waste another day waiting to find the answers.”
Ahead of this week’s vote, Brady, Team ENOUGH, and March for Our Lives joined with members of Congress and advocates across the nation to make clear that #WeNeedToKnow about gun violence in America. Participating leaders included presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Ted Deutch, Rep. Katie Hill, Rep. Joe Kennedy, Rep. Lucy McBath, Parkland survivor David Hogg, and noted researcher Michael Anestis. The campaign asked advocates to post videos explaining why we urgently need federally funded research on the issue.
The CDC is our nation’s top agency to research public health issues, but it and the NIH have been blocked from researching gun violence for years. A recent study found that research into gun violence garners substantially less funding from the federal government than research for other major causes of death - 1.6 percent of the funds the researchers would have predicted based on spending on comparable health issues.
With the hope of Congressional approval for research funding on the horizon, Brady is actively working with partners in public health, education, urban development, and academia to ensure comprehensive and data-driven solutions. Working with our partners, Brady has identified four primary areas of research that need more attention:
- Gun violence as a public health epidemic;
- Gun ownership and access;
- Evidence-based policy solutions; and
- The relationship between criminal behavior and guns.
Currently, the bulk of information related to gun violence is statistical and limited in nature, including mortality and injury rates and similar data. While this type of data can show us the magnitude of a public health crisis, it falls far short of the in-depth research that delves into the scope of the issue. Interdisciplinary research is needed to understand the complex causes of gun violence as well as the feasible solutions.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in the common sense. In the spirit of our founders Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 25 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.